Got home threw on the ESPN, made popcorn for the little ones, and watched most of the UB game before I had to take my older kids to a lesson.
By the time I got into the parking lot and checked ESPN again I saw that we won, and I was pretty sure NIU was going to hold up their end.
Boy was I wrong....
So it was a pretty good, then bad Friday as the Bulls beat Bowling Green but then saw the NIU Huskies flat out stink against Ball State. The result is a UB home game in the campus round as the MACs #5 seed this season.
It’s the first time in seven years that UB will have to play their way into Cleveland. The last squad to do it was Reggie Witherspoon’s 2013 squad.
But the fact that the UB women got hot as the season wound down, winning their final six, meant that they too had earned the right to a home campus game before Cleveland, and both teams are playing Miami.
Looking ahead there is no reason to think UB cannot win the tournament. They have beaten the top three seeds, and the number four seed barely escaped Buffalo with a win. If the Bulls show up nobody in the conference is a sure thing over Buffalo.
The Path: UB Men
First up Miami, and the RedHawks are surging. They destroyed Bowling Green and came way too close to beating us on our own home court last week. They look to me to be the most dangerous 12 seed the MAC has had on the Men’s side in some years.
Assuming we can end Miami’s season we will face NIU and the thought of facing Eugene German again is not a happy one. The man is a Bull killer and the MAC player who more than any other has given us fits over the past four years. He is the current “DJ Cooper”...
So while I think we can beat NIU It’s not a given and a win over them would be a major step for Coach Whitesell. If we manage that we will likely face Akron, which is always fun in Cleveland.
On paper I think Akron is the hardest matchup for Buffalo and the most likely “choke point” on our way to the dance. If we get by them it will likely be either Ball State or Bowling Green. Both teams are good, but I really feel like UB could handle them.
The Path: UB Women
Quite honestly in mid February the UB women looked like they were in complete rebuild mode. The fact they got to the six seed for the tournament is nothing short of miraculous. But as Matt likes to say, an FJL team knows when to peak and when they peak heading into Cleveland they can beat anybody.
First up is Miami, a team UB beat twice this season 86-72, and 88-72. It does not need to be said that UB is a heavy favorite here.
If they win then they get Kent State in the quarterfinals. Kent is a team UB knows how to beat, they are 2-0 with two lop sided wins against the flashes. It’s honestly the most favorable top four matchup UB could have gotten.
Then thigns get dicey, if Ball State does not choke in their quarterfinal game they will be UB’s opponent in the next round. UB is 0-2 aganst Ball State this year, one of those games was down to the wire, the other not so much.
Assuming they can reverse that all signs point to CMU as the finals opponent coming out of the other side of the bracket. The Chips are far and away the best team in the MAC this year and are going to be a heavy favorite no matter who they face.